KEYC - Lowering Stress May Help Your Heart

Lowering Stress May Help Your Heart

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MANKATO, Minn. -

While more research is needed to determine how stress contributes to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association if it goes unmanaged it could increase the risk for some individuals.
Between work, family and home life stressors are everywhere, but it's how you handle them that makes all the difference.
"Management of stress often involves being aware of it. So first and foremost we have to recognize some of our triggers and often times it may manifest itself in a physical way so headaches or stomachaches, irritability so things that we might not typically associate with stress, I'm tired, not sleeping can actually be stress symptoms. So recognition is the first step in management," Clinical Psychologist with Mayo Clinic Health System Lisa Hardesty said.
Finding out the triggers can aid in tackling stress, head on.
"Reduction comes in the form of really looking at everything I have going on so, looking at my entire life, what's here for me now, what can I get rid of, what could I stop doing, again that's a great place to start," Hardesty said.
An easy way to do that is focus on the better things in life and create time for them in your day-to-day routine.
"Things that really help manage our stress include exercise, physical activity, engagement in things that have meaning to us, purpose and create an interest in creativity, things that cause us to be engaged in something, so mindfulness is a topic that we hear a lot about right now. Really being present and doing things in a more thoughtful way instead of just going through the motions," Hardesty said.
But, not all stress is bad...
"In fact there's research that demonstrates you need a little bit of stress to have good alertness to have good focus, it increases our activity at times," Hardesty said.
Keeping those stress levels in check can go a long way in living a healthy life.

--KEYC News 12